A new Career and Technical Education (CTE) program began at Chief Leschi this fall, creating some exciting opportunities for our students. In these programs, students can explore different career options and learn skills to prepare them for working in that field. Many of the courses allow students to earn college credit along with high school credit, at no cost to the student!
There are five categories of CTE courses: Natural Resources, Medical Careers, Culinary Arts, Education Careers and Audio and Visual Technology. All of the categories connect with a local tribal industry. Natural Resources works with Fisheries, Shellfish and Water Quality departments, Medical Careers is connected to PTHA and other health organizations, Education Careers connects with the Elementary School at Chief Leschi as well as Grandview Early Learning, Culinary works with restaurants and food service at Emerald Queen Casino, and Audio and Visual is working with the Tribal Communications department as well as the entertainment division of Emerald Queen.
All of the classes include applied and hands-on learning. Students might learn how to tape an ankle, how to live-stream a sporting event. Culinary students learn about managing a professional kitchen, and Indigenous Culinary focuses on harvesting and preparing traditional foods. Education Careers students get actual classroom experience, and our Natural Resources students can work on wetland restoration at Lake Leschi or discover what a biologist at the fisheries does each day.
The community partnerships are the most exciting part of this program. Classes include guest speakers talking about their jobs, and, when in-person visits are allowed again, opportunities for job-shadows and even internships. In the planning stages are work-based learning opportunities, where students earn high school credit and a paycheck at the same time! Students love the real-world learning that connects directly to life after high school. If you have some experience in one of these areas and would like to offer support, reach out to Nancy Nelson, the CTE Administrator (Nancy.firstname.lastname@example.org). If you have a Chief Leschi student interested in taking some of these classes, encourage them to connect with a counselor to build their perfect schedule. CTE is a wonderful way to connect schoolwork to real work!